Part 188- Teenager’s Guide to the 2024 Election Part 4

Part 188- Teenager’s Guide to the 2024 Election Part 4

Welcome back to the amazing 10 truths series where today we start with point 3: Human flourishing requires fossil fuels

Fossil Fuels and the Environment

With the growth of our species we’ve advanced further and further, discovering different forms to produce energy such as solar, wind, hydraulic, nuclear, and so much more. But the more we research this, we also learn that our planet is not as it previously was. Climate change, as we now it, has become heavily debated. Since the increasing usage of fossil fuels, the increase of climate change has both concerned and unbothered many. So the question remains, should we continue using fossil fuels, or switch to an alternative?

Fossil Fuels in Politics

The opinions of fossil fuels are once again very clearly divided between the two parties. The Republican candidates being in favor of the need for fossil fuels, and the Democratic Party focusing more on the need for climate change and switching to other sources of energy. But let’s go deeper into each of the candidates’ actions regarding this certain field.

Ron DeSantis has called for the withdrawal of the U.S. from “international climate commitments like the Paris Accords that aim to achieve ‘net-zero’ greenhouse gas emissions.” He has also criticized power grid failures, and said that he would like to prioritize more reliable energy sources from fossil fuels such as natural gas and coal, as well as nuclear power and hydropower. He would also repeal federal tax credits and subsidies for electric vehicles and their supporting infrastructure, as well as focus on reducing “federal regulations to best domestics production of oil and gas with the goal of cutting the price of gas to $2 per gallon in 2025.”

Vivek Ramaswamy has called for the “increased domestic drilling and fracking for fossil fuels like oil and natural gas, as well as burning coal to produce reliable energy.” He also advocated for the U.S. to ‘abandon the climate cult’ and pledged to reverse President Biden’s green energy policies.

Nikki Haley said she wanted to “empower domestic energy producers by expanding oil and gas production and reining in the regulatory bureaucracy that stands in the way.” She too has called for the elimination of President Biden’s green energy policies, and would look to eliminate the federal gas tax to ease burdens on consumers.

Former Vice President Mike Pence has called for “setting a goal of overtaking China s teh world’s leading energy producer by reducing burdensome regulations and eliminating preferences for certain types fo energy through a source-neutral approach.” He too would immediately remove President Biden’s green energy policies, and would look to expand drilling on federal land and cut restrictions on liquified natural gas infrastructure and expanding pipeline capacity.

Tim Scott said he would accelerate federal permitting processes that “regulate the development of oil and natural gas resources” and would also “set a goal of doubling nuclear energy production within a decade.”

Chris Christie has called for an energy policy- called the ‘all-of-the-above strategy’- that includes a mix of fossil fuels nuclear power, and renewables. He has also called for an increased domestic production of oil and gas, which he views as a :necessary component of the portfolio until nuclear energy output is increased and renewable sources like solar and wind are more developed.” Unlike the other candidates, however, he has said that he would be open towards steps aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by carbon capture. He has also indicated that he would push China to also curb its emissions since only U.S. action to do so wouldn’t be as impactful.

Now what are these green energy policies everyone is fighting to get rid of?

The Biden-Harris Administration launched several initiative and billion dollar plans to increase the widespread use of clean and renewable energy. Some examples of such are:

  • $2.5 billion in funding to bring EV charging and alternative-fuel infrastructure to communities, which particular focus on underserved and overburdened communities, and along alternative fuel corridors
  • $14 billion National Clean Investment Fund, which will produce grants to up to three national clean financing institutions, enabling them to partner with states and the private sector to provide affordable financing for tens fo thousands of clean technology projects nationwide
  • $6 billion Clean Communities Investment Accelerator which provides grants for up to 7 nonprofits what will work with other groups to provide access to investments needed to deploy clean technology projects

Apart from that, President Biden has also boosted fossil fuels through allowing an Alaska ‘carbon bomb’, massive drilling lease sales in the Gulf, supporting across departments for oil and gas exports, and supporting for a controversial pipeline.

My Perspective

In schools, I’ve always been taught about the impacts of fossil fuels on our environment rather than why they were first used. It was covered in history classes when we got to the Industrial Revolution, but we never got current perspectives and impacts for the other parts of the world. There were passages, questions, and articles that talked about wind energy, solar energy, fossil fuels and ozone layers, and things regarding changes and alternatives to current and past practices. It was science, and knowledge incremental to our learning. We needed to know what was going on about the environment around us. What protected us from harmful ultraviolet radiation, and what’s causing for the rising water levels.

For me personally, I remember having a discussion on greenhouse gases fossil fuels with my dad and being so frustrated about why he didn’t agree with me. I had always had this mindset that fossil fuels were bad for the environment and we needed to change that to protect our planet. But with the research and preparation gone into this post, as well as an increase in the number and types of history/social studies classes I’ve taken since then, I’ve grown to have an altering opinion on fossil fuels.

Fossil Future, by Alex Epstein has been circulating around the articles I’ve read, highlighting some new insights I’ve never considered before.

Firstly, fossil fuels have been a core foundation in the growth of our nation as well as for many other countries around the world. We created a growing, thriving economy from the usage of fossil fuels, allowing us to create and advance to heights and levels we had never been able to even imagine much before. Things became efficient, easier, less time consuming, and more open to focus and develop other aspects. Today, now that we’ve grown and also have new findings on our environments and the impact of these fossil fuels, we’ve started to call for the reduced usage of them.

Stage 4 and 5 countries- pulling out my knowledge of AP Human Geography here-that have developed much before, begin to criticize Stage 2 and 3 countries who are relying on fossil fuels to develop today, saying they cause the pollution that damages our environment. They say this while being the ones who contributed to much of the damage at the beginning. It becomes evident from these arguments, that fossil fuels is what truly helped us develop and flourish as a species. We, as America, got to where we are now from our dependence on Fossil Fuels, and now developing countries are beginning to do the same. So yes, it is necessary.

Is it the best option though? No. As much as we don’t want to face it, our planet is dying. Human impact has left a negative mark on this planet. We see it with plastic and waste filled waters, hazy and dust colored skies where the sun is barely visible, oil spills blooming in the oceans, a reduction in animal populations, and so much more. We’ve now begun to realize these impact, hence the growing need and concern by activists to reverse and fix these actions. Fossil fuels, as beneficial they are, have been damaging and most harmful to our planet.

We should be looking towards alternative resources using water, wind, or even biofuel instead of solely depending on fossil fuels. I’m not necessarily considering the cut and complete removal of fossil fuels, but rather the development of alternative renewable resources that can support us as efficiently, or even more, as fossil fuels can. What would happen when we no longer have coal, oil, or gas to power our countries? What should we do then, when the world is in a state of panic? We need to at least begin the development of these renewable resources that can be used in the chance we run out. Fossil fuels should be used to progress development, but we also need to consider cutting down these practices to also use renewable resources.

See you for the fourth point: Reverse Racism is racism.

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